Small Town Life

Small Town Life

For the past dozen years or so I have been living in a small mountain town. In my mind I have become a local during that time. I know a large number of people throughout my town and the surrounding towns. Of course there are people that I might not know on a first name basis, but, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t know who they are. So in my mind that makes me a local.

Even so I am still considered a transplant or worse a flatlander. I don’t hold any of this against anyone in the area. It’s just the way things are. There is no way for me to ever become a true Vermonter. If my kids are lucky there grandchildren might be considered a true Vermonter or Native Vermonter.

Recently I gained a position within the local town government. Getting the elected for position was much easier than I had ever anticipated. But, I guess when you run for an office with only one opponent, it makes it easier. Not to mention it was against the town drunk, the kind of guy that reminds you of Otis from the Andy Griffith show. So really you could say I was running unopposed.

The town’s political machine moves slower than any government I have ever seen. At my first meeting there was a huge argument over a proposal that was two years old. At that speed there will be no movement of any kind on anything. Finally after ten minutes of arguing there was a consensus to table the proposal for another night.

That’s why when the proposal was made to increase the tax rate on transplants I didn’t think it would go anywhere. To me the whole idea of taxing people from out of state at a higher rate was preposterous. On some level the bill did make sense for those second home owners who had million dollar homes that they almost never used. But, the idea of making it a blanket ruling was just unreasonable.

As a transplant I decided I had to have the best interests of all the transplants in town who live there year round and have been there for years. I thought the fight for transplants rights was going great, the proposal kept getting put on hold. If it was anything like any other proposal it would never get off the ground.

That was until I missed a town meeting for my second son’s birth. While I was out the proposal got a unanimous vote and was due to go into effect at the beginning of the year. With the new ruling it would double my property taxes while leaving the Native Vermonters at the same rate. Not only that, it would affect my children and my children’s children, basically until the fourth generation was born in Vermont.

At was at this point I decided that it was time for me to resign my elected positon and find a new place to live. It wasn’t that hard to find a place in one of the neighboring towns that had a lower tax rate even, in fact lower than my old rate was. So with only 3 weeks until the New Year and it being the Christmas season we packed up and moved into our new place.

Ever since that day I have never looked at that town the same. All they seemed to care about was the bottom line of the town’s budget and ways to increase it. Meanwhile other proposal just kept getting pushed back, like the idea if adding benches and picnic tables to the town’s park.

 

I hope you all enjoyed this short story. If you enjoyed this story please give it a like to let me know. As always if you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions for future entries please feel free to leave it in the comments.

Check back next Friday at 1500 or 3 PM for a new commentary.

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